tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/payments Latest Payments content from Econsultancy 2018-06-18T14:29:27+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70100 2018-06-18T14:29:27+01:00 2018-06-18T14:29:27+01:00 Venmo doubles down on mobile: Is it a smart move? Patricio Robles <p>That's because last week, Venmo informed its users via email that it's deprecating functionality on its website, starting with the ability to send and request payments. The email stated:</p> <blockquote> <p>Venmo has decided to phase out some of the functionality on the Venmo.com website over the coming months. We are beginning to discontinue the ability to pay and charge someone on the Venmo.com website, and over time, you may see less functionality on the website – this is just the start. We therefore have updated our user agreement to reflect that the use of Venmo on the Venmo.com website may be limited.</p> </blockquote> <p>In a statement to TechCrunch, Venmo further <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/15/venmo-is-discontinuing-web-support-for-payments-and-more/">explained</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Venmo continuously evaluates our products and services to ensure we are delivering our users the best experience. We have decided to begin to discontinue the ability to pay and charge someone on the Venmo.com website. Most of our users pay and request money using the Venmo app, so we’re focusing our efforts there.</p> </blockquote> <p>Although the usage of the Venmo app might be significantly higher than that of its website, some Venmo users took to social media to voice their displeasure with the decision, with some even going so far as to claim that they would no longer use Venmo as a result of the decision.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I don't know which <a href="https://twitter.com/MNDarkClouds?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MNDarkClouds</a> decided to use Venmo as the app to collect funds for the Charity Club, but it sucks. I can't pay from the website?!?!? I am required to install an app? And it's owned by PayPal but not tied to my PayPal account? Why is this so stupid???</p> — Dave DuJour (@davedujour) <a href="https://twitter.com/davedujour/status/997480372576440320?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 18, 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>While Venmo told TechCrunch that “users can continue to use the mobile app for their pay and charge transactions and can still use the website for cashing out Venmo balances, settings and statements,” its email to users directly hints that more functionality will be deprecated in the future, raising the possibility that users who rely on or prefer using the Venmo website could be further alienated.</p> <p>So what gives? Why is Venmo suddenly making big changes to its service?</p> <h3>The Zelle factor</h3> <p>Venmo's decision to remove website functionality in favor of focusing on its mobile app experience comes at an interesting time. That's because <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69757-big-banks-are-finding-success-with-zelle-but-what-does-it-really-mean">Zelle</a>, big banking's P2P payments app, is growing like a weed. In fact, according to eMarketer, thanks to the fact that the more than 30 banks behind it have so many customers, Zelle will overtake Venmo in users this year. </p> <p>And by 2022, eMarketer expects that Zelle will have a wide lead over Venmo in users, with 56.1m compared to 38.7m, respectively.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/5414/venmo-zelle-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="463"></p> <p>While past statements from Zelle representatives indicate that it isn't trying to compete head-on with Venmo, there is no doubt some overlap between Zelle's user base and Venmo's user base and Venmo should probably be somewhat concerned about Zelle's ability to parlay ubiquity into usage.</p> <p>With that in mind, the question for Venmo is whether it can afford to take away functionality that a minority of its users use without ill-effect.</p> <p>On one hand, it would seem that allowing users to pay via the Venmo website is such a basic piece of functionality that there's really no need to risk removing it. On the other hand, as Venmo looks to solidify its relationship with users and innovate on the functionality and experiences it offers them, being able to focus exclusively on one application – and the one most of its users use – could prove advantageous.</p> <p>Time will ultimately tell whether or not Venmo's decision was a wise one, but already, Zelle has proven that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69457-can-big-banks-catch-up-to-venmo-with-p2p-payments-app-zelle">big banks can catch up to upstarts</a> like Venmo and once they do, those upstarts will have to become a lot more strategic if they don't want to find themselves playing catch-up.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70049 2018-05-29T15:09:57+01:00 2018-05-29T15:09:57+01:00 The reasons a retailer is behind the most successful mobile payments solution Patricio Robles <p>The retailer is Starbucks, an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/8435-starbucks-sees-26m-transactions-made-via-mobile">early entrant into the space</a>, that, <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/05/22/starbuckss-mobile-payment-service-is-slightly-outpacing-apples/">according to</a> eMarketer, will have 23.4m people aged 14 years and older use its app to make a point-of-sale purchase at least once every six months.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/4747/starbucks-mobile-emarketer-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="255"></p> <p>Here's a look at the reasons why Starbucks has been so successful with mobile payments.</p> <h3>There's a compelling use case based on high frequency</h3> <p>Starbucks is a frequent stop for millions upon millions of individuals. Some of the company's customers even visit daily. Because so many people visit Starbucks on a regular basis, there are lots of people who have a good reason to install and use the app.</p> <h3>Acceptance is universal</h3> <p>While acceptance of the Three Pays is growing, acceptance is not ubiquitous and that presents a usage challenge. The friction associated with credit and debit card payments is decreasing and thus, standalone mobile payments services that aren't universally accepted are arguably decreasingly appealing.</p> <p>Contrast this with Starbucks. Virtually every Starbucks customer knows that the company's app can be used to pay for orders at any Starbucks location. Coupled with the aforementioned frequency at which a large contingent of the company's customers make purchases, the known ability to use the app at every Starbucks location is no doubt a significant driver of app usage.</p> <h3>The app allows for mobile ordering</h3> <p>Unlike the Three Pays, the Starbucks app isn't just about payments. Notably, Starbucks customers can place orders – and pay for them of course – through the app. This gives them the ability to order ahead and avoid lines, which in and of itself is a compelling value proposition.</p> <h3>The Starbucks loyalty scheme requires payment by app</h3> <p>Perhaps the most compelling reason the Starbucks app is beating out dedicated mobile payment apps is that to earn rewards under the company's Starbucks Rewards loyalty scheme, patrons must pay for their purchases through the Starbucks app. </p> <p>Under the loyalty scheme, customers earn points, dubbed stars, that they can exchange for free drinks and food. Starbucks gamifies the loyalty scheme using a variety of techniques, including Double Star Days on which, as the name suggests, customers earn double the stars they would normally earn.</p> <h3>What other retailers can learn from Starbucks</h3> <p>Perhaps encouraged by Starbucks' success with mobile payments, other retailers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69641-target-is-the-latest-retailer-to-launch-a-mobile-wallet-will-it-work">like Target</a> have launched mobile payments offerings of their own. While few if any will achieve Starbucks-like adoption, there is the potential for large retailers to drive adoption of such offerings among their most loyal customers.</p> <p>To do this, however, they will need to look at the reasons Starbucks has succeeded, looking for both opportunity and shortcoming. For example, most retailers will not have a high frequency use case, but they could look to Starbucks' savvy integration of its loyalty scheme into its app and use that as inspiration for their mobile payment offerings.</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/70030-why-apathy-towards-apps-is-rising-and-how-to-combat-it">Why apathy towards apps is rising (and how to combat it)</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69754 2018-01-29T11:00:00+00:00 2018-01-29T11:00:00+00:00 How Lush is raising the bar for in-store experience Nikki Gilliland <p>While it’s pretty impressive in terms of ecommerce (you can read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67158-why-lush-is-the-undisputed-master-of-b-commerce" target="_blank">more about that here</a>) – I think its in-store CX is particularly worth shouting about. </p> <p>So, what can we learn from it? Here’s more on why Lush is leading the pack.</p> <h3>Innovative in-store payment</h3> <p>Recently, Lush overhauled its till system in its flagship Oxford Street London store, introducing a brand-new payment concept. It has replaced its regular till system with Android-powered tablets, which enables staff to roam around, and allows customers to checkout and pay anywhere in the store.</p> <p>The tablets also offer more payment options and faster transactions, meaning customers are less likely to abandon a purchase due to long queues or busy staff. In fact, reports suggest that revenue has risen by 20% since the introduction of the new system, as staff have been able to process more transactions at a faster rate.</p> <p>This is just one example of Lush’s aim to offer a seamless experience for shoppers in-store, as well as one that is tailored to the brand’s own retail strategy. For example, it is now looking to improve its payment system, introducing ways for customers to access wish-lists and more detailed receipts via its tablets.</p> <p>It also marks the first time a retailer has built its very own payment system, choosing to take greater control over its in-store technology and bypass traditional till providers. While not all retailers will have the funds or resources to invest (or perhaps gamble) in a similar initiative, it certainly acts as an example of how retailers can take greater control.</p> <p>On the back of its success so far, Lush plans to roll out this tablet payment system in UK stores before going on to trial it globally.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1871/Lush_tills.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="390"></p> <h3>Employees going the extra mile</h3> <p>Working for Lush is not like working in your average retail store. Shop staff typically go through extensive training to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to deliver the type of service customers have come to expect.</p> <p>So, how does Lush’s service improve the brand’s wider CX? There are a few strategies that staff take in order to satisfy customers. One is recognising and targeting customers based on their browsing behaviour. For example, if they ask lots of questions, employees will know to spend time demonstrating products based on the customer’s specific needs. Alternatively, staff are expected to recognise when a customer wants fast customer service and a quick turnaround in store. </p> <p>Lush employees are also known for going the extra mile, and striving to create friendly, memorable, and personal interactions with shoppers that aren’t based on retail transactions. It’s been reported that staff use ‘facts of the day’ in order to connect with certain emotions. So, if the weather outside is dark and miserable, Lush might aim to counteract this mood by recommending particularly bright and cheerful products. </p> <p>When you compare the type of customer service offered in Lush to other retail stores, many pale in comparison. Of course, there is the danger that not all customers will want a conversation as they shop, yet it remains an integral way in which Lush differentiates itself to create a memorable store experience.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">being greeted by the lush staff <a href="https://t.co/swCjPFzKJA">pic.twitter.com/swCjPFzKJA</a></p> — arran (@coloppola) <a href="https://twitter.com/coloppola/status/804038170425884672?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 30, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Unique and interactive layout</h3> <p>Another thing that makes Lush stand out from other retail stores is how it displays its products – as well as how it encourages customers to interact with them.</p> <p>Its stores are reminiscent of a deli or grocery layout, with customers encouraged to pick up, smell, and touch items as they go. Demonstrations are also part and parcel of the shop experience, as again staff are eager to show how products work and what they can do, using large sinks to show off its famously colourful bath bombs.</p> <p>It might sound a little grandiose, but there is almost a theatrical element to the Lush experience. Which, arguably, is why the brand is able to charge quite a bit more than other household brands of everyday products like soap, shower gel, and shampoo.</p> <p>Lush packaging is also another hallmark. While most of its products come ‘naked’, taking away the need for wasteful packaging, its pots and bottles are made from post-consumer plastic, and include quirky information such as who made it. Alongside friendly service, the Lush eco-friendly attitude and interactive store experience is something customers have come to expect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1873/lush_in_store.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="427"></p> <h3>Aligning offline and online CX</h3> <p>In-store technology is clearly a new priority for Lush, however the brand has also been striving to better align its app with the in-store experience for a while now.</p> <p>During last year’s Creative Showcase, Lush unveiled two new technologies. The first is Lush Lens – a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69460-image-recognition-in-ecommerce-visual-search-product-tagging-and-content-curation" target="_blank">visual search tool</a> that allows users to discover further information about a product by identifying it with their smartphone camera. Secondly, it’s experimenting with a voice-activated assistant called Lush Concierge. This lets customers ask questions (such as where the nearest store is) as well as enables staff to find out information like stock levels and other inventory-related queries.</p> <p>With plans to integrate both tools into the existing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68308-four-things-to-appreciate-about-lush-s-new-app/" target="_blank">Lush app</a>, it further proves the brand’s commitment to innovation, which will in turn continue to improve the customer’s experiences with the brand, and act as a key differentiator in the retail market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1874/Lush_lens.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="409"></p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/lush-a-fresh-approach-to-customer-experiences" target="_blank">case study on Lush’s CX</a></strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69641 2017-12-07T13:00:00+00:00 2017-12-07T13:00:00+00:00 Target is the latest retailer to launch a mobile wallet: Will it work? Patricio Robles <p>For the retailers still standing, finding ways to adapt has never been more important.</p> <p>Naturally, one of the ways many retailers are trying to defend themselves against the ongoing retail bloodbath is to fortify their relationships with customers. And one of the means by which a growing number are attempting to accomplish this is through the launch of mobile wallets.</p> <p>The latest retailer to embrace mobile wallets is Target, the second largest discount store retailer in the U.S., which <a href="https://corporate.target.com/article/2017/12/wallet-in-target-app">announced</a> the launch of a feature called Wallet on Monday.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0967/walmart_wallet.jpg" alt="walmart wallet" width="600" height="397"></p> <p>Wallet is available in both versions of Target's mobile app – Android and iOS – and allows users to pay for their purchases with their Target REDcard debit or credit card and apply discounts from Target's Weekly Ad coupons and Cartwheel, the retailer's savings program. Soon, users will also be able to link Wallet to Target GiftCards.</p> <p>According to Target, “one big benefit [of Wallet] is faster in-store checkout—up to four times faster than other payment types, in fact.” And Mike McNamara, Target's chief information and digital officer, believes that “guests are going to love the convenience of having payment, Cartwheel offers, Weekly Ad coupons and GiftCards all in one place with Wallet.”</p> <h3>What works for Starbucks might not work for other retailers</h3> <p>The most prominent and successful retailer mobile wallet is that offered by giant coffee chain Starbucks. It is <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2017/mobile-payment-now-accounts-30-starbucks-transactions-company-posts-5-7b-revenue/">now responsible for nearly a third</a> of Starbucks' transactions and is one of the most widely used mobile wallets in existence.</p> <p>With Starbucks clearly in mind, numerous retailers, including Walmart, CVS, Kohl's and now Target, have launched mobile wallets of their own.</p> <p>But what works for Starbucks doesn't work for everybody. In fact, based on a report published by PYMNTS.com, The Motley Fool's Matthew Cochrane <a href="https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/05/10/its-time-to-face-the-facts-mobile-wallet-usage-rat.aspx">noted that</a> “mobile wallet usage rates are laughably low.”</p> <p>For example, according to PYMNTS.com's data, while Walmart Pay's install rate was respectable compared to more mature mobile wallets, “fully 55.8% of Wal-Mart customers in the survey either wanted to use cash, were not comfortable with the platform, or simply flat out stated they didn't want to use a mobile payment method.”</p> <p>Why is Starbucks succeeding where most others aren't? Countless numbers of people frequent Starbucks on a regular basis, and many even head to Starbucks daily. And because Starbucks' mobile wallet has to be used to earn rewards in Starbucks' rewards program, regular customers have a significant incentive to do so.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7589/img_2173-blog-flyer.png" alt="starbucks order and pay" width="300"></p> <p>Few retailers match the customer purchase frequency of Starbucks or have loyalty programs as popular as the coffee chain's. And some mobile wallets have less-than-compelling value propositions and significant limitations that deter use.</p> <p>In Target's case, the requirement that customers have a Target REDcard debit or credit card to use Wallet obviously decreases the universe of customers who can use it. And it's not clear that the promise of in-store checkouts up to four times faster would encourage large numbers of customers who don't have a REDcard to sign up for one.</p> <p>From this perspective, it would appear that Target's mobile wallet offering is unlikely to achieve Starbucks-like success, but it doesn't necessarily have to, to be beneficial for the company. For example, if Target can drive some additional acquisition of REDcard holders and/or encourage existing REDcard holders to use their REDcards at a higher clip than they do now, it could profit.</p> <p>That said, for retailers that launch mobile wallets – Target certainly won't be the last – strategy will be increasingly important as the number of mobile wallets grows.</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/starbucks-adapting-to-changing-consumer-habits">Starbucks: Adapting to changing consumer habits</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69364-walmart-signs-ecommerce-deal-with-google-to-fight-amazon">Walmart signs ecommerce deal with Google to fight Amazon</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69506 2017-10-13T17:06:59+01:00 2017-10-13T17:06:59+01:00 10 thrilling digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Let’s get down to businesss.</p> <h3>Facebook native videos generate 530% more comments than YouTube</h3> <p>Quintly’s <a href="http://press.quintly.com/159939-530-more-comments-on-facebook-native-videos" target="_blank">latest study</a> involves the analysis of 187,000 Facebook profiles and over 7.5m Facebook posts from January to July 2017.</p> <p>Alongside the discovery that 92% of these profiles used native video, it was found that Facebook native videos resulted in 530% more comments than YouTube videos.</p> <p>Cementing the power of the platform, Quintly also found a 477% higher average share rate for Facebook native videos, and a 168% higher average interaction rate compared to YouTube videos.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9710/Quintly.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="704"></p> <h3>Majority of consumers think AI in marketing should be regulated</h3> <p>On the back of Blade Runner 2049’s release, a survey by Syzygy has revealed US and UK attitudes about artificial intelligence.</p> <p>It found that the majority of respondents think AI in marketing should be governed by a key principle from the movie – i.e. that it should be illegal for AI to hide its real identity and impersonate a human. 85% of Brits agree with this sentiment, as do 79% of Americans.</p> <p>The survey also found that 43% of Americans believe AI poses a threat to the long-term survival of humanity, while 17% feel anxious about the rise of the technology.</p> <p>Meanwhile, 92% of Brits believe there should be regulation with a legally-binding code of conduct, while 75% think brands should need explicit consent before using AI in their marketing.</p> <h3>Negative reviews rise in November and December due to delivery issues</h3> <p><a href="https://marketing.trustpilot.com/hubfs/Content%20Marketing/Consumer%20Behavior%20and%20Expectations:%20The%202017%20Holiday%20Season%20Report%20%5BUS%5D.pdf" target="_blank">Trustpilot</a> has analysed data from over a million online reviews left in November and December in both 2015 and 2016.</p> <p>Results show that delivery was the biggest cause of complaints. The most common two-word phrases in one-star reviews were “customer service,” “days later,” and “still waiting” during October to December 2016. The appearance of “delivery” in one-star reviews rose to more than 19% in December – a 13.27% increase since October.   </p> <p>Finally, there were more negative reviews left on 20th December than any other day of the year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9711/Trustpilot.JPG" alt="" width="662" height="612"></p> <h3>Conversion rates on desktop more than double that of mobile</h3> <p>A new study by <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qubit-tackles-product-discovery-on-mobile-with-industry-first-ai-powered-solution-2017-10-11" target="_blank">Qubit</a> has found that mobile commerce still lags behind desktop when it comes to discoverability, conversion, and revenue.</p> <p>In the analysis of data across 35 fashion and cosmetics brands since January of this year, it found traffic to each channel to be about the same – 45.87% on desktop and 44.7% on mobile. However, there are stark differences in other areas.</p> <p>Conversion rates on desktop were found to be 3.35%, while conversion rates on mobile were 1.61%. Similarly, revenue per visitor (RPV) is more than double on desktop – £6.10 vs. £2.66 on mobile.</p> <p>Lastly, the average number of products viewed per customer was also far higher on desktop – 17.99 on desktop and 13.65 on mobile.</p> <h3>Music improves the customer experience in-store</h3> <p>A study by <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171012005445/en/Mood-Media-Sacem-Study-Reveals-Virtues-Music" target="_blank">Mood Media and Sacem</a> suggests that music can improve the customer experience in-store, even in more ‘serious’ sectors such as banking.</p> <p>When measuring the difference music makes in locations where it was not previously used, it found that 70% of customers had a more positive perception of a business’s image when music was playing, and 65% agreed that music helped to differentiate the business from its competition.</p> <p>When sectors like banking and pharmacy were silent, only 33% of customers initially thought adding music would feel appropriate. However, 76% of customers agreed the music was a good addition once it was introduced.</p> <p>Interestingly, customers in banking felt more comfortable having confidential conversations when music was playing in the background.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9709/Mood_Media.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="561"></p> <h3>Global digital payments predicted to reach 726bn transactions by 2020</h3> <p>Capgemini’s <a href="https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.worldpaymentsreport.com%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cnikki.gilliland%40centaurmedia.com%7C835f7751d319493ccb0408d51089e78e%7Cfdd3bf0d1bfa49198a45f1a311d56753%7C0%7C0%7C636433106849505369&amp;sdata=dbsMKux7oiMO67NmPsmgskeBwudEEaA1xjYvM9ubbqs%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">World Payments Report</a> says that global digital payments volumes are predicted to increase by an average of 10.9% in the run up to 2020, reaching approximately 726bn transactions.</p> <p>This is said to be heavily influenced by retail customers, who are increasingly willing to use online and mobile channels to adopt next-generation payment methods.</p> <p>The report also revealed that by 2019, it is estimated that around 50% of transactions carried out using a credit or debit card will be made either online or via mobile.</p> <h3>Fewer marketers see CRO as ‘crucial’ to success</h3> <p>Econsultancy’s Conversion Rate Optimization Report, in association with RedEye, has revealed a dip in the perceived importance of CRO. </p> <p>In a survey of 800 marketers and ecommerce professionals, 38% of respondents said they still see it as ‘important’. However, just 50% now see it as ‘crucial’ – a decline from 55% in 2016. </p> <p>This percentage has fallen even further since 2013, when 59% of professionals cited CRO as ‘crucial’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9708/CRO.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="517"></p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/" target="_blank">full report here</a>.</strong></em></p> <h3>More consumers predicted to shop online this Black Friday</h3> <p>A survey by <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171011005249/en/Market-Track-Study-Give-Online-Retailers%21-Shoppers" target="_blank">Market Track</a> suggests that more consumers will choose to make online purchases this Black Friday, favouring digital commerce over traditional brick and mortar stores.</p> <p>Out of 1,000 people surveyed, 40% of respondents said they expect to shop in physical retail stores on Black Friday. Meanwhile, 30% said the same for Thanksgiving compared with 50% last year.</p> <p>In contrast, 80% said they are likely to purchases from Amazon this year – an increase of 6% from 2016. And while in-store shopping is likely to decline, Walmart came out on top as the top retail destination for the holiday season.</p> <h3>Snapchat is top social platform for US teens</h3> <p>Despite reports that Snapchat usage is declining among <a href="http://mediakix.com/2017/10/top-influencers-instagram-stories-vs-snapchat-study/#gs.otoiTsI" target="_blank">top influencers</a> (with a 33% decrease in usage over the past six months), <a href="http://www.piperjaffray.com/2col.aspx?id=287&amp;releaseid=2306037&amp;title=Survey+Says+Teens+Prefer+Food+over+Clothing%2c+Nike+is+Losing+Its+Heat+and+Streetwear+is+on+the+Rise" target="_blank">Piper Jaffray</a> suggests US teens still can’t get enough of the platform.</p> <p>In a survey of 6,100 US teenagers across 44 states, it found 47% of respondents cite Snapchat as their favourite social media platform – almost twice as many as those who prefer Instagram.</p> <p>Just 9% of teens said they favour Facebook, while 7% said Twitter, and just 1% said Pinterest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9712/Snapchat.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="563"></p> <h3>Interactive video ads boost viewing time by 49% </h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.magnaglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Tremor-IPG-Media-Trial.pdf" target="_blank">Magna</a>, interactive video ads result in a 47% increase in time spent watching compared to non-interactive ads. </p> <p>What’s more, when consumers interact with a 15-second ad, brands can reportedly triple their time spent with consumers. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69457 2017-09-29T09:52:00+01:00 2017-09-29T09:52:00+01:00 Can big banks catch up to Venmo with P2P payments app Zelle? Patricio Robles <p>One such market is payments, and specifically, peer-to-peer payments.</p> <p>In 2009, two university students created Venmo, a person-to-person (P2P) payments solution, because they found settling a small debt to each other was more troublesome than it seemed it should have been. Since then, the Venmo app has taken off and is so popular with millennials that in the US the word “Venmo” is a verb. Splitting a bill and need your friend to settle her portion? “Venmo me.”</p> <p>In 2012, payments company Braintree acquired Venmo for approximately $26m, and a year later, Venmo found a home at PayPal when the digital payments giant purchased Braintree in an $800m deal.</p> <p>Today, Venmo processes tens of billions of dollars worth of payments per year and is still growing like a weed. In fact, in the second quarter of the year, it processed $8bn in payments, a more than 100% increase year-over-year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/9238/6203227491_b5a155b95b_o-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="470"></p> <p>As Econsultancy contributor Charles Wade <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68853-financial-institutions-need-to-act-fast-to-avoid-being-outflanked-by-tech-giants">observed</a>, “Companies like Venmo...are outflanking traditional players by combining genuinely useful capabilities, like splitting payments across a group, with zeitgeist features such as transaction history in a social media-style feed, replete with comments.”</p> <p>For obvious reasons, established players can no longer ignore upstarts like Venmo and thus, they've been busy developing their own alternatives.</p> <p>The establishment's “Venmo-killer” is called Zelle and <a href="https://www.zellepay.com/">it's finally here</a>. More than 30 banks, including Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, as well as a number of large credit unions, are on board with Zelle.</p> <h3>So how does it stack up?</h3> <p>Zelle serves largely the same purpose as Venmo but it adds a few twists. These include:</p> <ul> <li>Many of the banks that are participating in the Zelle network have integrated Zelle into their own banking apps. While a standalone app is also available, having its functionality accessible through banks' existing apps could theoretically help drive adoption and usage.</li> <li>Payments sent between Zelle users “typically occur in minutes” as opposed to one business day or more with Venmo.</li> <li>Sending and receiving payments in Zelle is free. The same is true with Venmo except in cases where the source of funds is a credit card.</li> <li>When sending payments through a banking app that has integrated Zelle, users can select the source of funds. For example, it's possible to send a payment with a checking or savings account. Venmo doesn't offer this functionality.</li> <li>Adding a debit card to Zelle's standalone app is easier than with Venmo as a routing number isn't required.</li> <li>Unlike Venmo, Zelle isn't as focused on social features.</li> </ul> <h4>The big question: will any of Zelle's potential advantages over Venmo help it achieve success now that Venmo has already reached verb-level popularity?</h4> <p>It's hard to say. Despite the fact that Zelle has some advantages over Venmo thanks to its banking backers, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68517-what-is-zelle-and-why-haven-t-you-heard-of-it">a lot will depend on how well it's marketed</a>. Even if Zelle takes an aggressive stance and decides to highlight Venmo's flaws, the millennial userbase of Venmo might not care. As Econsultancy research analyst Arliss Coates noted, “even without millennial antipathy to the banking sector, the 18-40 year old market is notoriously tough to win over.”</p> <p>With this in mind, it's interesting that Zelle isn't prioritizing winning over Venmo's core userbase. “When we talk about Zelle, it's about a target market that ranges from 18 to 54,” Jeremiah Glodoveza, VP of communications at Early Warning, the company that operates Zelle, explained. </p> <p>According to Glodoveza, that's why certain features, like social sharing, aren't a part of Zelle. “What we're really optimizing is for an ubiquitous experience,” he stated.</p> <p>Time will tell whether this strategy can work and the outcome will reveal a lot about entrenched financial institutions' ability to catch up to the upstarts that have been disrupting them.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/digital-transformation-in-the-financial-services-sector-2016"><em>Digital Transformation in the Financial Services Sector</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/2017-digital-trends-in-financial-services-and-insurance"><em>Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in Financial Services and Insurance</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69236 2017-07-07T12:40:12+01:00 2017-07-07T12:40:12+01:00 10 superior digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>On we go...</p> <h3>Mobile shopping ads presents growth opportunity for retailers</h3> <p>According to a new report by <a href="http://www.foundit.com/blog/mobile-shopping-search-retailers-biggest-opportunity-improve/" target="_blank">Foundit</a>, mobile clicks on Google Shopping ads represent the largest single source of visitors for online retailers, accounting for nearly 25% of all sessions across direct, paid and shopping search traffic.</p> <p>However, the report – which reviewed over 60m shopping sessions across leading retailers – also states that search is the worst channel for bounce rate, with users typically viewing just two and half pages before quitting.</p> <p>In terms of the difference in bounce rates between Google shopping on mobile and desktop, just 27% of sessions browse past the first page, compared with 38% on desktop. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7342/foundit.JPG" alt="" width="706" height="318"></p> <h3>TV sponsorship increases positive brand associations</h3> <p>According to a study by Thinkbox, brands that sponsor TV shows are able to improve brand health metrics – mainly thanks to the strong affinities viewers have with their favourite programs.</p> <p>Research found that there was a 53% increase in ‘personality fit’ between viewers of a TV show and the sponsoring brand when compared to non-viewers. In turn, viewers were far more likely to recommend the brand than those that didn’t watch the TV show. </p> <p>Meanwhile, when the sponsorship creative was a natural fit with the program, key brand health metrics for viewers were 5% higher than for non-viewers. </p> <h3>UK shoppers buy from just three online stores</h3> <p>According to a YouGov poll commissioned by Apptus, online fashion retailers are struggling to attract new and loyal customers.</p> <p>In a survey of over 1,500 online shoppers, 62% of people were found to have a core group of favourite online retail stores – a figure that rises to 68% for women.</p> <p>Interestingly, younger shoppers appear more likely to stick to a narrow selection of sites, with 78% of 18-24 year olds and 70% of 25-34s staying loyal to a select few retailers.</p> <p>In order to tempt them away from their favourites, 66% of shoppers said that other retailers should offer greater value for money, while 48% said they should make it easy to find products they are looking for. In contrast, just 4% pointed to ‘lifestyle content’ as a means of grabbing their attention and building loyalty.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7346/online_payments.jpg" alt="" width="718" height="487"></p> <h3>North Dakota named the best US state to start a business</h3> <p><a href="https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-to-start-a-business/36934/" target="_blank">WalletHub</a> has compared 50 US states across 20 key indicators to determine where startup businesses are most likely to succeed.</p> <p>It found New Jersey to be the worst, mainly due to high office space and labour costs as well as inaccessible financing.</p> <p>On the flip side, North Dakota was ranked the best, seeing the highest average growth in small businesses. The state also has the most startups per 100,000 residents – three times more than West Virginia, the state with the fewest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7341/Start-ups_US.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="311"></p> <h3>75% of users are searching on mobile more often due to voice technology</h3> <p>New research from Google shows that voice search is influencing user behaviour, with 75% of consumers saying that they now search on their mobiles more often because of the technology.  </p> <p>People who started using voice search in the last six months are said to be the most frequent users, with 42% now using it daily. In comparison, just 25% of people who started using voice search over four years ago use it as frequently.</p> <p>The research also found that both visual and text search remain popular, with 51% of respondents using the two interchangeably.</p> <h3>Cyber-attacks on UK businesses increase 52% in Q2</h3> <p>A new report by Beaming suggests that the number of cyber-attacks aimed at UK-based businesses increased by more than half in Q2 2017. This means that businesses saw almost 65,000 attacks in just three months – an increase of 52% from the previous quarter.</p> <p>68% of attacks targeted connected devices such as networked security cameras and building control systems. However, there was also a marked increase in attacks on company databases, with businesses experiencing an average of 105 attempts per day compared to just 14 in the first quarter.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7340/Cyber_attacks_UK.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="192"></p> <h3>Mobile traffic at an all-time high across Europe</h3> <p>A new <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/adobe/adi-2016-europe-best-of-the-best" target="_blank">report from Adobe</a> – which includes analysis of the top 20% of companies using Adobe Experience Cloud and a survey of over 5,000 consumers across Europe – suggests mobile traffic is increasing across Europe.</p> <p>It states that smartphones accounted for 31% of all European web visits in 2016 – an increase from 22% in 2015. In comparison, desktop accounted for 58% of browser traffic - down from 65% in 2015. For the top-performing companies, 41% of web traffic came from a smartphone in 2016, up from just 31% the previous year. </p> <p>Meanwhile, the report found that consumer expectations are driving mobile usage, with 57% preferring to use a smartphone over another device when completing tasks in 2016 – up from 51% in 2015.</p> <h3>Shoppers’ dual-screening habits present big opportunities for retailers</h3> <p>Data from eBay has revealed there was a huge spike in consumer spending during last summer’s sporting events, indicating the potential for retailers to tap into dual screening behaviour.</p> <p>On the final day of the Tour de France last year, searches for ‘Pinarello’ – the bike that Chris Froome rode – rose by 62% on eBay.co.uk. Meanwhile, searches for ‘cycling shorts’ and ‘road bike’ increased by 46% and 71% respectively.</p> <p>Similarly, in the two weeks of the Rio Olympic Games, searches for ‘running shoes’ rose by 66%, and interest in running watches jumped by 113%.</p> <h3>Uber gains more customers than any other US company in the past year</h3> <p>Despite the series of scandals that have plagued the company in the past year or so, Uber has made the largest customer gains since the first half of 2016. </p> <p>26% of all US millennials are said to have recently used the service, which has increased its <a href="http://www.brandindex.com/article/ride-sharing-brands-top-biggest-millennial-customer-gains-over-last-year" target="_blank">Adobe BrandIndex</a> ‘current customer score’ by 8.2 points.</p> <p>Other companies in the sharing economy have also grown, with Lyft – Uber’s biggest US rival – becoming the third biggest gainer, and Airbnb coming 12th in this list.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7343/uber.jpg" alt="" width="724" height="483"></p> <h3>Online consumers desire security over transaction speed</h3> <p><a href="https://mypinpad.com/consumer-trust-report/" target="_blank">New research</a> suggests that retailers who favour speed and convenience over security measures could be losing customer trust. This is because 67% of consumers surveyed said they are concerned about their online banking and shopping security, with one in four respondents being ‘very concerned’.</p> <p>In order to improve levels of trust, retailers must implement greater transparency around security practices, as well as increased security steps. </p> <p>40% of respondents said they would like to use cardholder PIN to authenticate online transactions, while 50% would like to use a combination of both PIN and biometrics. Only 2% of consumers believe transaction speed is more important than security.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69034 2017-04-26T12:24:21+01:00 2017-04-26T12:24:21+01:00 Amazon launches 'Subscribe with Amazon' to help companies sell subscriptions Patricio Robles <p>The <a href="https://www.subscribewithamazon.com/">marketplace</a>, which is said to have been in development for the past year, was born out of Amazon's homegrown subscription initiatives. "Over the years, Amazon has gained extensive experience in the memberships and subscriptions space, innovating across programs like Prime and Kindle Unlimited," Lovina McMurchy, the GM of Subscribe with Amazon, <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170424005365/en/Amazon-Launches-Self-Service-Marketplace-Subscription-Providers">explained</a> in a press release. </p> <p>Vendors interested in selling through Subscribe with Amazon have access to self-service tools that allow them to create detail pages for their offerings. An API allows vendors to receive order data and updates from Amazon so that they can automate the management of subscriptions. As one would expect, Amazon is giving vendors the ability to sell subscriptions with different terms, such as monthly and annual, and also allows them to offer introductory pricing to new subscribers.</p> <p>Initial Subscribe with Amazon partners include Disney Story Central, The Wall Street Journal and Dropbox. Currently, Subscribe with Amazon is accepting applications from vendors that sell digital content, but it would not be surprising to see Amazon later extend it to subscription services that offer physical products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5680/subscribewithamazon.png" alt="" width="768" height="450"></p> <h4>Distribution, but at what cost?</h4> <p>Subscribe with Amazon's primary value proposition is that it offers subscription vendors a marketplace through which they can sell to Amazon's massive customer base. To help them sell, Amazon is even offering vendors the ability to create special promotions for Prime members, which are now estimated to number more than 65m.</p> <p>For example, one Subscribe with Amazon launch partner, Texture, offers a 50% discount to Prime members for the first six months of a subscription to its digital magazine service.</p> <p>In addition to helping vendors market their wares, Subscribe with Amazon could, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68792-amazon-payments-usage-grows-should-you-adopt-it/">like Pay with Amazon</a>, reduce purchase friction because it enables Amazon customers to purchase and manage subscriptions through their existing Amazon accounts, speeding the purchase process and reducing concerns about trust. Such concerns are often more pronounced in subscription purchases because charges are recurring. </p> <p>But despite the appealing aspects of Subscribe with Amazon, vendors will probably want to think carefully before they embrace Amazon's new offering.</p> <p>First, there's the issue of margin. Amazon takes a 30% cut of subscription revenue in the first year. That drops to 15% after the first year. While giving up 30% and then 15% might make sense for some vendors – it's in line with what other distribution channels charge – it might not make sense for others and vendors will want to do the math to determine the potential impact on the profitability of their business, especially if they consider that some Subscribe with Amazon subscriptions may displace some portion of subscriptions that would otherwise be sold direct.</p> <p>Second, there's the issue of data and customer ownership. While Amazon is giving vendors access to order data through an API, Subscribe with Amazon will obviously give the online retail giant the ability to collect significant data about its vendors. And it will own the relationships with customers who purchase using Subscribe with Amazon.</p> <p>Data and customer ownership is a thorny issue for vendors. After all, Amazon increasingly competes with companies that sell in its marketplaces. For example, it has launched its own private brands in categories ranging from apparel to electronics accessories. Some companies believe that Amazon <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67769-the-rise-of-amazon-s-private-labels-shows-the-perils-of-not-owning-your-data-customers">has used its vast trove of sales data to identify products that its private labels should sell</a>.</p> <p>Given that Amazon already operates a number of digital subscription services of its own, the company's actions in other markets make it clear subscription vendors will have no choice but to consider that Subscribe with Amazon could eventually help the retail giant at their expense.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68977 2017-04-07T10:00:00+01:00 2017-04-07T10:00:00+01:00 10 notable digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Before we kick things off, remember that you can also download the <a style="font-weight: normal;" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for lots more.</p> <h3>A third of B2B marketers are tracking sales from social</h3> <p>A new <a href="http://immediatefuture.co.uk/resource/b2b-report-what-has-social-media-ever-done-for-us/?utm_source=PR&amp;utm_medium=Msr&amp;utm_theme=&amp;utm_term=&amp;utm_campaign=B2B_Report17#sf_form_salesforce_w2l_lead_22" target="_blank">report by IF</a> has found that 33% of marketers are tracking sales through social media, with social platforms driving sales upwards of £50,000 per month. </p> <p>However, some B2B marketers are less adept at measuring social value, with 58% not rating their ability to measure social at all. More than one in 10 marketers also appear nonchalant about the benefits - 13% suggest that social media measurement is neither important or unimportant.  </p> <p>Senior marketers are much more optimistic, with 67% being confident that their ability to measure social will improve in the next two years, and 50% of them planning to increase resource and budget investment in the next 12 months.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5309/IF_report.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="480"></p> <h3>More marketing teams planning to restructure in 2017</h3> <p>An increasing number of marketing teams are restructuring to cope with technological challenges, according to new research by Technology for Marketing, the IDM and Pure360.</p> <p>In a survey, 33% of marketing teams said they expect to become more specialist in 2017, with just 3% becoming generalist in their expertise. However, just 12% of marketers said they exclusively ‘own’ the marketing technology they rely on, instead turning to partnerships with IT and external technology teams to get results. </p> <p>This highlights the need for restructuring, with marketing teams having to move away from all-purpose marketing managers towards specialist roles, agencies and freelancers.</p> <h3>UK consumers more trustworthy of familiar brands</h3> <p><a href="http://lp.outbrain.com/research-unconscious-content-bias-uk/?utm_source=press&amp;utm_campaign=research-content-bias&amp;utm_medium=pr" target="_blank">Outbrain suggests</a> that UK consumers place greater trust in familiar brands, with 77% of survey respondents citing them as a reliable source of information.</p> <p>In comparison, 67% say they trust content shared by their own friends on social media, while three in five people believe relevant content from even unfamiliar brands to be trustworthy.</p> <p>Research also shows that consumers place more trust in traditional publishers as opposed to social media or blogs, with two-thirds of respondents believing that content from the likes of The Guardian or The Sun is reliable.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5310/Outbrain.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="670"></p> <h3>Traffic to betting websites surge ahead of the Grand National</h3> <p>Hitwise has analysed the key data behind last years’ Grand National, looking at its demographic in comparison to other racing events.</p> <p>It found that betting websites saw a 35% increase in online traffic in the week of the race last year, with those searching for betting and racing sites most likely to be between the ages of 25 and 34.</p> <p>It also discovered that people who earn over £100,000 are 161% more likely to visit racing and betting sites in the week of Royal Ascot. Meanwhile, people aged 18-24 years old are most likely to visit Sky Bet over the week of Royal Ascot, whereas those aged 55 and over are more likely to choose At The Races.</p> <h3>37% of smartphone owners are using voice technology</h3> <p>According to a new report by <a href="http://www.mindshareworld.com/uk/about/speak-easy" target="_blank">Mindshare</a>, voice technology has the ability to drive a greater emotional connection with brands. </p> <p>A study carried out by Neuro Insight found that emotional activity was twice as high when consumers voiced a brand question rather than typing it out. People also find it much easier to use, as 50% less brain activity occurs when processing an answer delivered by voice.</p> <p>The technology is already becoming prevalent among smartphone users, with 37% using voice technology of some kind at least once a month and 18% using it at least weekly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5312/SpeakEasy.JPG" alt="" width="599" height="357"></p> <p><em>Reasons for using voice technology</em></p> <h3>Aldi and Lidl are struggling to build shopper loyalty </h3> <p>An ICLP survey has revealed that Aldi and Lidl are struggling to build consumer loyalty despite an ever-growing market share. In a survey of over 1,000 people, 37% of Tesco shoppers and 34% of Sainsbury’s shoppers felt that their custom and loyalty was rewarded. In contrast, just 16% of people said the same for Lidl and just 9% for Aldi. </p> <p>Similarly, only one in four Brits believe that they get something back when they share their personal information with a supermarket. 52% of Sainsbury’s shoppers and 35% of Tesco shoppers said that they have benefited from sharing data, compared to 26% of Aldi shoppers, and 20% of Lidl shoppers.</p> <h3>UK retailers are failing to invest in AI and machine learning</h3> <p>A <a href="http://www.qubit.com/research/catalysts-of-change" target="_blank">Qubit report</a> on the future of retail tech suggests that the majority of brands are failing to invest in artificial intelligence, despite recognising its potential.</p> <p>While 82% believe that machine learning will have an impact on the retail sector, just 48% are currently using it in their business. As a result, 82% of companies are planning to invest less than £1m to introduce new tech, while 22% are planning to invest less than £50,000. </p> <p>Effective data collection appears to be hindering AI, with just a third of retailers having a strategy to collect and analyse data across all their channels. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5311/Qubit.JPG" alt="" width="588" height="618"></p> <h3>Digital performance of luxury brands is improving</h3> <p>Research by <a href="http://contactlab.com/en/more/reports/digital-competitive-map-march-2017/?step=step2" target="_blank">ContactLab</a> shows that there’s been a significant improvement in many luxury brand’s digital performance over the past year.</p> <p>The Digital Competitive Map found that Burberry still has the strongest digital presence of 32 international fashion and luxury brands, with Louis Vuitton and Gucci also remaining stable in comparison to the previous year.</p> <p>An overall 5% increase in the digital performance of 32 brands is said to be due to a focus on geographical localisation, a wider range of languages used on brand websites, and strong email campaigns. However, some are still lagging behind on social, with only half of the 32 brands using Instagram and only 10 having Snapchat accounts.</p> <h3>Consumer loyalty reduced by the threat of security breaches</h3> <p>A report by <a href="https://www.retail-week.com/analysis/retailers-face-losing-battle-in-fight-against-hackers/7019678.article" target="_blank">Retail Week and Cisco</a> has highlighted the impact of data breaches on both consumers and retailers.</p> <p>In a survey of 2,000 consumers, 72% said that they would be unlikely to do businesses with a company that has experienced a data breach. If their own personal data had been breached, nearly nine out of 10 respondents said they would reduce spend if the retailer did not take steps to quickly correct the problem.</p> <p>Lastly, only 9% of consumers would rule out taking legal action against a company if a data breach has occurred. However, 53% said they would definitely consider it and 38% would give it due consideration.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5308/Retail_Week.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="404"></p> <h3>US news consumption on the rise</h3> <p>Finally, a <a href="http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2017/the-nielsen-total-audience-report-q4-2016.html" target="_blank">study by Nielsen</a> has found a rise in news consumption in the US. Consumers spent 73.5bn minutes consuming news content in the average week last year – an annual increase of 18%.</p> <p>Insight suggests that the rise is due to an ‘unrelenting flood of stories’ resulting from events like the presidential election. To put this into context, the typical consumer dedicated 18.5 hours to this activity a week in 2016, compared to just over 16 hours in 2012 when the last presidential election was held.</p> <p>National cable television has been the main beneficiary of the rise, claiming 20 additional minutes of weekly attention in the first month of this year compared with the average from last year as a whole.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68683 2017-01-09T10:33:22+00:00 2017-01-09T10:33:22+00:00 What can marketers learn from Amazon Go's customer experience? Nikki Gilliland <p>Shoppers are simply required to scan smartphones as they enter, leaving Amazon’s “just walk out” technology to detect exactly what’s being taken and charge it to their Prime accounts.</p> <p>It’s one of the first ever examples of a truly seamless customer experience - a trend that’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68652-ecommerce-in-2017-what-do-the-experts-predict/" target="_blank">predicted to be big</a> in the world of ecommerce this year.</p> <p>So, what can we learn from the concept? </p> <p>Here’s a few factors for marketers to consider.</p> <h3>Getting out of the customer’s way</h3> <p>According to Amazon, the store uses a combination of “computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion” to create a seamless experience for customers.</p> <p>The concept of walking into a store and out again without any interaction with employees or payments might sound alien – but it’s designed to make shopping as hassle-free as possible.</p> <p>It’s also the antithesis of many retail marketing strategies.</p> <p>Instead of interrupting customers as they use technology, or asking them to interact with the brand online (“like our Facebook page”), Amazon wants the technology to stay hidden (though you do need to have downloaded Amazon's app beforehand).</p> <p>From the success of companies like Uber and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68375-airbnb-how-its-customer-experience-is-revolutionising-the-travel-industry/" target="_blank">Airbnb</a>, it is obvious that customers crave this kind of hands-off approach. Likewise, they also favour utility and practicality over anything else. </p> <p>With brands that offer a value proposition based on ease and simplicity dominating their fields, Amazon Go aims to provide customers exactly that – without shouting about it.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NrmMk1Myrxc?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Avoiding over-personalisation</h3> <p>By keeping track of the customer’s every move, Amazon Go will enable the brand to deliver more data-driven marketing than ever before.</p> <p>As customers, we’re used to waiving the right to privacy online, with the knowledge that brands draw on our browsing and buying behaviour in order to deliver targeted messages.</p> <p>In fact, this is now an expectation, with consumers desiring <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68285-six-things-to-consider-when-implementing-personalisation/" target="_blank">greater personalisation</a> for an improved service. Think Spotify's curated playlists or Netflix's movie recommendations. </p> <p>For the first time ever, however, Amazon Go means consumers will waive their right to privacy while shopping in person. From what we put back on the shelf to the route we take while walking around the store – this information is all up for grabs.</p> <p>From a marketing perspective, this also means there is the temptation to over-egg personalisation to the point of being creepy. As a result, issues over consumer privacy could potentially be its downfall.</p> <p>Of course, retail stores have been attempting to track customers for a while, but past examples show that it’s not always accepted. US retailer Nordstrom was previously forced to stop using WiFi to monitor movement in physical stores due to uproar from customers. </p> <p>A few years down the line, will it be any different?</p> <p>Retailers do appear to be recognising that success lies in an intelligent and relevant use of data – not just blind targeting or technology for the sake of it.</p> <p>For Amazon Go, clever targeting executed in a non-intrusive way is the aim, but the question remains whether or not customers are ready and willing to accept it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2835/amazon_go.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <h3>Altering brand perceptions</h3> <p>The Amazon Go experience does not simply end in-store. Data could be used to serve customers even more targeted offers and personalised recommendations on-site.</p> <p>This connection between the online and offline world is evidently another reason behind the ecommerce brand’s foray into retail. </p> <p>After all, a physical experience is often a much better way to create a human connection with customers - especially for a brand like Amazon, which doesn’t exactly offer the most emotionally engaging experience online.</p> <p>With a bricks-and-mortar store, it has the opportunity to break down customer expectations – namely that Amazon offers a single type of service – and reveal a completely new way of interacting with the brand.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just finished my first trip to <a href="https://twitter.com/AmazonGoAmerica">@AmazonGoAmerica</a> !!! Looooved it!! Who's jealous??? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AmazonGo?src=hash">#AmazonGo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Amazon?src=hash">#Amazon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HappyAmazonian?src=hash">#HappyAmazonian</a> <a href="https://t.co/huRrtBUXHJ">pic.twitter.com/huRrtBUXHJ</a></p> — M (@ThusSpokeLadyM) <a href="https://twitter.com/ThusSpokeLadyM/status/808758908705587200">December 13, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Amazon’s cashier-free store is by no means a guaranteed success.</p> <p>Currently available for Amazon employees and due to open to the public in the near future – it is an experiment that could easily be shelved. </p> <p>However, it’s certainly an exciting development for the future of retail, and gives marketers an insight into how a seamless experience could lead to greater engagement and satisfaction from consumers.</p>